To celebrate the 10th edition of the OVO Energy Tour Series in May, the will be asking riders, team managers, cycling experts and even race staff to pick their Dream Team from the hundreds of riders who have competed in Britain’s leading criterium series.

This week’s selector is Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director of UK Technology business Brother UK.  Results partner of the series since 2016, Brother UK currently sponsor seven teams in the domestic racing scene as well as Brother Neutral Service vehicles, the OVO Energy Women’s Tour and the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.  Jones is a keen road cyclist and can often be found in the pits or on the podium at a Tour Series round!

Using his vast experience of the domestic racing scene, Jones has named our first mixed team. And it’s a cracker!

ALICE BARNES Canyon//SRAM; formerly of Twenty3c-Orbea, Scott Contessa Epic, Drops

“Attending a training camp with Drops cycling in early 2017, I got to see firsthand the commitment that Alice has to training.  After a long ride when the option was to go back or stay out (I went back and found a bar), she stayed out looking for hard climbs arriving back to the hotel later in the early evening. Seeing that discipline out of season really transferred itself to commitment on the Tour Series circuits.  You’d always find Alice working hard for the team, pushing the pace, always looking for the win.  For commitment, you always want someone on your team that has high standards and a winning mentality, Alice has those characteristics.”

EJAY HARRIS Storey Racing; formerly of Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa

“I can recall being at the Croydon round in 2017 and the conditions were absolutely miserable.  It was wet and really cold, making for very difficult conditions for the riders and the racing.  Emerging as victor of the Women’s round that night was Ejay and as I saw the riders come off their bikes behind the podium, shivering with the cold, I thought that it took a lot of grit and guts to pull that win off. It must have taken so much determination and energy.

“Presenting Ejay with the trophy for the fastest lap that night, she was soaked to the skin, yet smiling.   After such a hard race, that showed real quality and depth of character, which you always need when things get tough.”

BRENTON JONES Delko Marseille Provence KTM; formerly of JLT Condor

“Although he only raced in the Tour Series for a season, Australian Brenton Jones showed his class with two individual victories in Stoke-On-Trent on and Motherwell [above] rounds.  He clearly was well suited to crit racing in the UK; with the right squad behind him he showed his class in being able to ride smartly during a race and to have the sprint to take a win.  Brenton has now gone off to ride for the Delko Marseille Provence KTM road team on the continent – we’ll miss his racing prowess in the 2018 rounds for sure.”

JAMES LOWSLEY-WILLIAMS Canyon Eisberg; formerly of Team UK Youth, NFTO, BIKE Channel Canyon

“Hank (as he’s known) always gives 100 per cent heart on the road.  He’ll ride on the front all race if he has to and is always prepared to make an all or nothing effort, which pleases the crowds and makes the racing interesting.  While he’s never won a round (it’s only a matter of time) I’d want him on my squad for that relentless effort, team morale and sponsor TV time that he generates!  Even if not racing, he’ll still be in the pits with the squad, helping out where necessary, which says a lot about his character and team ethic.”

ED CLANCY JLT Condor; formerly of Halfords BikeHut, Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta

“A popular rider wherever he goes, Ed is a powerhouse when it comes to crit racing.  I bet if there was a measure in football for ‘assists’ then Ed Clancy would be right up there. He’s won eight individual rounds but I’ve also seen him work his socks off for the team, muscling his way to the front of a race then hitting the peloton hard with a huge power burst to tire them out.  When he crouches, you see those huge shoulders cutting through the air and crank arms groaning as a huge wattage bomb gets dropped.  Off the bike, he has real humility which is uncommon for someone that has achieved so much.  A total team player, the ultimate launch pilot for success.”

DS CHERIE PRIDHAM Vitus Pro Cycling; former team owner and manager of Raleigh-GAC

“Being a female DS in a mostly male dominated sport is a big thing.  Chez was a professional cyclist for 15 years before turning her attention to running a team (Raleigh GAC) in 2010 and she’s never looked back.  Stage racing or crit racing, she has an eye for upcoming talent and how a race is developing as any good DS should.  As DS for one of our 2018 sponsored teams, I’ve been able to spend time up close with Chez and been so impressed by her knowledge, character and commercial ability.  Definitely someone I’d want running my squad.”

Follow Phil Jones MBE on Twitter. To learn more about Brother UK’s involvement with the domestic racing scene, click here.